From landscapes to architecture to astrophotography, the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S lets you get the most out of a range of shooting environments and capture scenes with the perfect balance of scale and impact, all in sharp resolution. Find out how this fast, wide-angle prime lens allows an urban and travel photographer to capture the beauty around her. (Photos and report by Ong Ying Sin)
Nikon Z 7/NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S lens/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/8.0, 6.0 sec)/ ISO 100
I shot these historical shophouses and the modern skyscrapers in Singapore’s Chinatown, inspired by their harmonious contrast that excellently portrays how much the country’s architecture has evolved over the past 50 years. At its sharpest aperture of f/8, the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S captured every element from the foreground to background in tack sharp detail right up to the edges, with zero distortion.
Nikon Z 7/NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S lens/ FL: 24mm/ Manual exposure (f/1.8, ISO 100, 1/2500 sec)
The lens’ minimum focus distance of 25cm allowed me to create this wide-angle macro-like image of a water lily. Shooting close to the subject, combined with the shallow depth-of-field at the f/1.8 maximum aperture, turned the city skyline into smooth, natural-looking background bokeh. Colours are illustrated accurately without being overly saturated. Having such a large maximum aperture is also great for taking handheld shots at night, especially when you want to keep the ISO speed low without slowing the shutter speed by too much.
24mm is a well-regarded focal length among many landscape photographers as it sits at the sweet spot that allows one to establish wide, remarkable scenes without losing impact. I also like using it for travel as its angle-of-view is neither too wide nor too narrow This makes it good for capturing architecture and street in addition to landscapes.
The superior lens construction also makes for impeccable image quality. This lens is a dream to shoot with in backlit situations such as sunrise and sunset with the Nano Crystal Coat, which reduces ghosting and flaring and has an increased tolerance for backlight. Other aspects of the optical design, such as the inclusion of four aspherical elements and ED lenses, reduce distortion and chromatic aberration, resulting in faithful depictions and impeccable edge to edge clarity and sharpness throughout the entire f/1.8 to f/16 aperture range. I found that all my straight out-of-camera files were sharp and virtually free of chromatic aberration and flare. The weather-sealing on this lens is an additional benefit, offering reassuring durability to landscape and travel photographers like myself who are often exposed to unpredictable natural elements when shooting outdoors.
The f/1.8 maximum aperture will be compelling especially for those who frequently shoot low light scenes, and lens performance is excellent even at this extreme. I found my images shot at f/1.8 sharp and detailed from edge-to-edge when focused to infinity, and tiny point light sources in the distance were accurately captured as dots with neither any diamond-shaped distortion nor coma flares as seen with most lenses. The image corners, which are often full of active coma flares, are flare-free when shot with this lens, making the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S lens a great choice for night photography and astrophotography.
Employing a stepping motor (STM) internal focusing mechanism made up of 2 AF drive units, the lens focused quickly, quietly and accurately, regardless of whether it was a sunny day or a low-lit evening. Its effectively silent focusing when paired with the silent photography mode in the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 allowed me to shoot stealthily indoors and on the street. It is definitely a great feature to have for stills, and even better for videos: Cleaner audio means an easier post-production workflow.
For all its features and excellent optical quality, the NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S weighs approximately 450g with body dimensions of 78mm x 96.5mm. This results in a compact, lightweight combination with both the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6, a definite advantage for urban and travel photographers like myself.
ED lens elements
Aspherical lens elements
For more details, click: NIKKOR Z 24mm f/1.8 S
Ong Ying Sin
To Ying Sin, photography is about capturing the beauty of life. She is constantly looking out for interesting subjects and perspectives in ordinary places, while using colour and geometry to create a focal point for the image.